Elizabeth WANG Ming-chun
2017 Honorary Doctorate
A highly respected and versatile artist, Dr Elizabeth Wang Ming-chun has worked in the television industry for 50 years. Throughout her career in the performing arts, she has not only made remarkable contributions to the entertainment industry and performing arts in general, but has also been committed to the preservation, revival and development of Cantonese opera. She starred in many well-known drama series, including A House Is Not A Home, The Heaven Sword and the Dragon Sabre, Yesterday’s Glitter, Young’s Female Warrior, Wars of In-laws and Limelight Years. With her vivid acting, Dr Wang created many iconic roles that left a long-lasting impression on the audience. Dr Wang is also a popular singer, in 2005 receiving the Golden Needle Award from Radio Television Hong Kong in recognition of her outstanding contribution to music. Dr Wang has given breakthrough performances including TV dramas, musical productions and cultural programmes.
1983 saw Dr Wang’s first foray into the Cantonese opera industry, after which she formed her own troupes, including Boom A Bliss Cantonese Opera Troupe in 1988. Dr Wang is also an advocate of rejuvenation of this traditional art form through adapting famous western operas, such as Macbeth and Madame Butterfly, into Cantonese opera. In 2010, De Ling and Empress Dowager Ci Xi was staged, a production which, while remaining faithful to the essence of Cantonese opera, used costumes designed by local students.
In 1992, Dr Wang became the first woman to be elected to chair The Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong. She helped develop the Association into a more professional organisation and raised the status of Cantonese opera. The Associaton ran certificate programmes with School of Continuing and Professional Studies of The Chinese University of Hong Kong as well as the Academy to provide young people with training to become professional performers. Dr Wang was elected to serve as the Chairlady of the Association for the third time in 2007 and has been chairing it for more than 15 years, dedicating herself to the promotion and revitalisation of Cantonese opera heritage and education. Under her leadership, the Association undertook various initiatives, including a reform of the Cantonese Opera Academy of Hong Kong in 2007, registering the Association as a charitable organisation in 2009, introducing formal Cantonese opera education in junior secondary years in 2010 and jointly offering a comprehensive range of Cantonese opera production courses with the Vocational Training Council in 2011, launching the Cantonese Opera Young Talent Showcase under the Yau Ma Tei Theatre Venue Partnership Scheme in 2012. In 2017, the Association organised large-scale exhibitions to promote Cantonese opera to the local community and overseas visitors at Times Square and Hong Kong International Airport.
In 1981, Dr Wang was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Hong Kong. She was appointed as a member of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council for 1996 to 1997. In 1988, Dr Wang was the first artist to be appointed a Hong Kong/Macau delegate of the National People’s Congress, a position she held until 1997. Since 1998, she has been a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. In 2004, she was awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong SAR Government and, in 2007, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the City University of Hong Kong, the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award and the World Outstanding Chinese Award. In 2015, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from The Education University of Hong Kong.
In 2008, she was appointed a member of the Performing Arts Committee under the Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. She received Honorary Fellowships from the Academy and the Vocational Training Council in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Dr Wang was a member of the Culture Sub-subsector of the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication Subsector of the Election Committee in 2016. Dr Wang’s community service work includes being a Founding Member of the Zonta Club of the New Territories and serving on the Boards of the Po Leung Kuk, Pok Oi Hospital and the Hong Kong Dance Company. She is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society.
To mark the 50th anniversary of her performing arts career, Dr Wang staged concerts in August 2017, at which she attributed her success to “self-respect, self-motivation and selfconfidence”. Her work ethic and tireless drive for excellence make her a fine model for others to follow. Dr Wang is renowned not only for her achievements across different media, but also for her dedication, perfectionism and genuine love for the stage and the performing arts. One of the most beloved and revered performing artists in Hong Kong, Dr Wang is a true icon.